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Popcorn Frights Film Festival: Second Wave of Films Weds a Bride and Sics the Jackals

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A couple of weeks ago, we posted the first wave of films that will be playing at Miami’s Popcorn Frights Film Festival, which included titles such as Another Wolfcop, Mayhem, and Game of Death. Now it’s time to reveal their second wave of films!

The festival will be offering the North American premiere of the Russian horror film The Bride, the US premiere of the Canadian zombie flick Dead Shack, the North American premiere of Halloween) producer Malek Akkad’s The Hatred, and more! You can see the full list below.

The festival runs August 11 through 17, 2017, at Miami’s landmark O Cinema Wynwood theater. Tickets are already available right here.

FEATURE FILMS

68 KILL
Directed by Trent Haaga
US | 93 minutes | 2017
This Southern-fried caper focuses on infatuated nice guy Chip and his crazy girlfriend, Liza, whose relationship takes a sharp turn into homicide when they try to rob Liza’s sugar daddy – only to end up with two corpses, a hostage, and $68,000 in stolen cash.

DEAD SHACK
Directed by Peter Ricq
Canada | 85 minutes | 2017
Three kids on a weekend getaway are holed up at a run-down cottage in the woods and must save their hard-partying parents from a shotgun-toting psycho (Lauren Holly), who wants to feed them to her slavering zombies.

THE BRIDE
Directed by Svyatoslav Podgayevskiy
Russia | 93 minutes | 2017
Russian with English subtitles
A young woman travels with her soon-to-be husband to his family home in the outskirts and becomes increasingly suspicious of their strange behavior. Sheer psychological terror soon overwhelms her as she starts witnessing terrifying visions when his family prepares her for a mysterious ritual ceremony.

THE ENDLESS
Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
US | 111 minutes | 2017
A mind-bending delight from the directors of Spring, The Endless follows two brothers who return to the death cult from which they fled a decade ago and discover that there might be some truth to the group’s otherworldly beliefs.

HAPPY HUNTING
Directed Joe Dietsch & Louie Gibson
US | 91 minutes | 2017
A gory thrill ride about an alcoholic drifter who gets stranded in a one-horse town deep in the American desert. It turns out that the town’s psychotic rednecks celebrate a gory pastime rounding up drifters and hunting them for sport.

THE HATRED
Directed by Michael G. Kehoe
US | 90 minutes | 2017
From the producer of Halloween comes the terrifying new feature centering on four young women who travel to their college professor’s new country home for a weekend getaway, only to discover that the house has a malevolent past. Featuring Andrew Divoff (Wes Craven’s Wishmaster), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), and Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street).

JACKALS
Directed by Kevin Greutert
US | 90 minutes | 2017
A potent ’80s-set psychological thriller that centers on an estranged family who hire a cult de-programmer (Stephen Dorff) to get back their teenage son from a murderous cult, only to find themselves under siege when the cultists surround their cabin, demanding the boy back.

LAKE BODOM
Directed by Taneli Mustonen
Finland | 85 minutes | 2017
Finnish with English subtitles
A smart, slick, savage slasher that riffs on a notorious real-life Finnish murder still unsolved. More than 50 years later, four teens get some gruesome surprises when they camp out at the site of the grisly massacre.

SEQUENCE BREAK
Directed by Graham Skipper
US | 80 minutes | 2017
A loner video arcade technician experiences bizarre bio-mechanical mutations and Cronenbergian hallucinations when a mysterious new arcade game appears in his shop. Reality itself threatens to fracture as he works to solve its mystery and the new chaos that has entered his life.

SUPER DARK TIMES
Directed by Kevin Phillips
US | 100 minutes | 2017
An incinerating and strangely dream-like teenage nightmare set in the leafy American suburbs of the early 1990s when a group of best friends get caught up in an abrupt and violent accident that results in a gruesome death.

TERRIFIER
Directed by Damien Leone
US | 82 minutes | 2017
It’s Halloween night and Art the Clown, the cold-blooded killer who also stalked the omnibus All Hallow’s Eve, is not wearing a creepy costume just for show. He terrorizes three young women and everyone else who stands in his way in this gritty and jarringly depraved new cut.

SHORT FILMS

2AM
Directed by Huseyin Hassan
Australia | 16 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A man awakens in an unusual asylum when supernatural events begin to unfold right in front of OUR eyes.

A KNOCK ON THE DOOR
Directed by Katrina Rennells & Wendie Weldon
US | 8 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Moments after a bloodcurdling scream disrupts a normally peaceful neighborhood, a frantic knocking at one resident’s door triggers events that unknowingly alter his fate forever.

BORN AGAIN
Directed by Jason Tostevin
US | 7 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. When a group of bumbling Satanists has their summoning ceremony go terribly right, they’re left to face the decidedly holy shit consequences.

THE CLEANSING HOUR
Directed by Damien LeVeck
US | 19 minutes | 2016
SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE. Two failed filmmakers get in over their heads when their latest staged hoax, an elaborate exorcism, turns out to actually be demon-possessed.

COUPLE’S NIGHT
Directed by The Summers Brothers
US | 4 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A couple’s night goes off the rails when one couple reveals they’re blood sacrificing devil worshippers. And then things get weird…

CURVE
Directed by Tim Egan
Australia | 10 minutes | 2016
SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE. Clinging to a smooth, curved surface high above an abyss, a girl tries to cover the few feet back to safety without falling to her death.

DIE! SITTER! DIE!
Directed by Lee & Sam Boxleitner
US | 25 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A young girl takes a job looking after an infant for the night. Little does she know her night is about to get more horrifying than she could have ever imagined.

FIERCE
Directed by Izù Troin
Switzerland-France | 15 minutes | 2017
French with English subtitles
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. A young corporate executive is kidnapped from his apartment and wakes up in the middle of a forest only to be stalked by a mysterious hunter.

FUCKING BUNNIES
Directed by Teemu Niukkanen
Finland | 18 minutes | 2017
Finnish with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Raimo’s comfortable, middle-class bubble is burst when a Satan- worshipping sex cult moves in next door.

GREAT CHOICE
Directed by Robin Comisar
US | 7 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.

HELL FOLLOWS
Directed by Brian Harrison
US | 11 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Betrayed by his clan and murdered for his past evil deeds, a sadistic killer’s soul possesses his identical twin’s body and sets out onto the road of vengeance for one final crusade of extermination. Everywhere he goes…HELL FOLLOWS.

IMEDIUM
Directed by Alfonso García López
Spain | 7 minutes | 2017
Spanish with English subtitles
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. A mourning mother has lost all hope of finding her missing daughter alive, so she decides to subscribe to an app that connects directly with dead people.

LEVEL
Directed by Andrew Hunt
US | 19 minutes | 2017
WORLD PREMIERE. Trapped inside a never-ending nightmare, a cat and mouse game plays out between a man and a hellish beast lurking in the shadows.

NECK AND NECK
Directed by Shaun Clark
UK | 5 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, this animated short presents a dark surreal take on the relationship between the deceived Othello, the innocent Desdemona, and the mendacious Iago.

NIGHTMARE
Directed by James Mansell
UK | 3 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Put on a headset and step inside a frighteningly immersive environment, where all is not as it seems.

OVERTIME
Directed by Craig D. Foster
Australia | 9 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. No one likes working late on a Friday night…especially if it’s a full moon and you happen to be a werewolf.

SAVOR
Directed by Marc Cartwright
US | 1 minute | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A man discovers the horrors of dinning alone.

THE THIN PLACE
Directed by Alexander Mattingly
US | 15 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A mother and daughter are haunted by a terrifying presence in this supernatural suspenser.

THE TICKLE MONSTER
Directed by Remi Weekes
UK | 4 minutes | 2017
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A quiet night in for an aspiring grime artist and his girlfriend takes a dark turn when she reveals her room is haunted by the tickle monster.

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Spoilers: Which Major Walking Dead Actor Might Leave the Series After This Season?

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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

Like many of you out there, I gave up on AMC’s The Walking Dead a long time ago. In fact, I gave up after they fired Frank Darabont following the horrendous second season.

That said, I’m not bitter towards the series, and hell, even I watched the season premiere where Negan beat the brains off Big Red and the dude from Mayhem.

Also, I’m aware there has been some controversy surrounding the “death” (yeah, right) of Chandler Rigg’s character. I have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking of character deaths, we might want to expect another this season as it looks like Lauren Cohan, aka Maggie, has taken another job on the ABC pilot “Whiskey Cavalier.”

While this doesn’t immediately mean Cohan’s Maggie character will kick the big old zombie-bucket… it pretty much means that.

Variety reports that Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC for months over her return, but she does not currently have a contract for the ninth season and will instead take the lead in the new ABC pilot.

Do you think this means Maggie is done for? Let us know below!

“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday, February 25th.

Season 8B Synopsis:
All-out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the people at Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.

At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.

But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop, and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.

In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.

As all-out war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.

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Filthy and Fine! The Best Shots of Ash vs. Evil Dead

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The Evil Dead franchise is my all time favorite horror series, which evolves its mythos with each entry. Of course, the original Evil Dead has been just a straight-up horror film, but thanks to the fateful meeting of filmmaker Scott Spiegel, director Sam Raimi took the franchise into a strange comedic territory, using slapstick while still keeping the tones of sheer terror. What makes this terror stay with the franchise even with Ash’s loudmouth persona is it’s influential and inspiring camera work that Sam Raimi makes a legend behind the camera.

After years of waiting for the master of horror to return to the Evil Dead franchise, our palates were satiated with “Ash Vs Evil Dead” which continued the inspiring cinematography. With two seasons of a television show under Raimi’s watchful eye and a third season on the way, I took a look at every episode in the series to see if each director on board the project kept that eye for cinematography and shooting style. The series was notorious for it’s over the top gore and gags and I could’ve sat here and just gushed over the geysers of blood emitting from every orifice in the show, but, what I found in each episode brought more and more to the table. There are still horrifying shots to balance out the comedy of the show, but there are also amazing character moments within that foreshadow and evolve each character.

Think about it, other than Ash we’ve never had a cast of characters that survived more than two minutes but now there’s a crew of Ghostbeaters! Don’t worry as we still have randoms coming in and out that leave you to ponder, “How long can this poor Shemp live?” as they burst into blood and viscera. There are shots that revel in the grotesque, but there are also shots that revel in who our heroes are and delve into their psyches, the specialty of the Deadites! For those who’d like to follow along with the shots in the show, I’ve given you the time these shots show up if you’re watching the show on Netflix skipping the recaps.

To see the images in their full-size glory, give them a groovy little click!


S1E1: “El Jefe”
Directed By Sam Raimi
12:53
The flashlight twirling on the ground illuminating the scene as it spins on the two detectives faces gives way to one of the best sequences in the series. As Amanda’s deadite partner attacks her, the light spins furiously with the actions of the scene as she tries to retrieve her gun. When she retrieves the gun and aims it at the deadite the audience member would get a sigh of relief that she would triumph but is then tricked into terror. The flashlight spinning becomes slower and slower on both their faces as the man cries in pain pleading to his partner. The light illuminates his transformation back into a deadite horrifyingly for a slow dread filled shot. This shot and sequence show Sam still has it and sets up the series for what’s to come.



S1E2: “Bait”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
12:30
As Ash brings down the cross upon the ground the camera pans to Pablo and Kelly with a bright sunrise upon them. While the horrors of the night are over it is this sunrise the signifies the dawning of Kelley’s new life and her dialogue over this shot swears her vengeance.


S1E3: “Books From Beyond”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
2:38
Up until this point, Ruby has remained a mystery and not given us a sense of danger. Against the howl of the windmill in the background bathing in the moonlight we see her unleash the Kandarian dagger upon the already impaled deadite with a smirk on her face. This shot unravels her mystery bit by bit hauntingly as the first person besides Ash to stare down a Deadite with no fear.


S1E4: “Brujo”
Directed By David Frazee
22:40
The Brujo’s entire set up is pretty creepy with all sorts of totems that he utilizes for good but look haunting. When Kelly steps into the barn possessed by Eligos the totems come to life and react to the evil stepping before them. The best one though is the face that quickly begins to disappear bit by bit as Kelly approaches. It utters the word Mentirosa, Spanish for a liar, as she steps forth, giving way to a visually striking and terrifying warning.


S1E5: “The Host”
Directed By: David Frazee
21:26
Pablo bids farewell to his youth and tutelage under the Brujo while stepping into a new life with Ash that is more in tune with his family’s spiritual upbringing. With each totem lighting up as Pablo walks by the shots build Pablo’s feelings of loss toward a teacher as Pablo emerges a warrior that foreshadows his importance later to come as the first magical force of good in a fight that’s only ever cast spells of evil.


S1E6: “The Killer of Killers”
Directed By Michael Hurst
20:24
This is one of the most hilarious yet meaningful shots of the episode. Amanda’s boss has become a deadite ready to kill her. Ash shoots Amanda’s boss in the head, making her question the authority she had adhered to so much. Her idea of Ash as a villain changed with that charming Smile and look to Amanda in a gory pose over the lower jaw of her former boss. Ash looks to her like Uncle Sam simply saying join us! Blood and viscera flowing around him like a fountain. Dangling legs in the background as an added bonus!


S1E7: “Fire In The Hole”
Directed By Michael Hurst
19:25
Actions in combat can tell a story just like any dance. The compatibility between our heroes is evocative of Ash and Amanda’s budding romance during the entire sequence. However, it is this one masterful shot of the two working in unison dodging hellfire that tells the story of warrior’s love lit by demon fire!


S1E8: “Ashes to Ashes”
Directed By Tony Tilse
18:21
Ash can never escape the past it seems as the series goes on. He is hesitant to trust Pablo and Kelly as friends in his adventure for fear of losing them like he has lost so many others. This infamous shot from Evil Dead 2 is one of the few things that could make him question his machismo. This time he doesn’t even bring the chainsaw down on his beloved Linda but is forced to watch as an invisible chainsaw comes down upon her head forcing him to be reminded of what he did. This plays heavily into his decision making near the end of the season.



S1E9: “Bound In Flesh”
Directed By Tony Tilse
25:20
We finally get to see the book speak and beg Ash to not destroy it. This is something we’ve become accustomed to in the comic series, but have never been treated to the book itself speaking to Ash otherwise. We as the audience become the eye of the book and in true Evil Dead fashion watch, Pablo scream as the camera rushes toward him and he fuses with the book. This moment is the change in Pablo that clashes with his new direction discovered in the shot in Episode 5, which then tortures him internally until the end of season 2 where he is constantly being pulled by the necklace of the Brujo and the evil of the books spells.


S1E10: “The Dark One”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:06
A dreary moonlight shot of blues against the cabin looking ominous as Kelly stares on drenched in blood and anger. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shot. Kelly has fully embraced herself as a ghost beater and is done being tormented ready to start saving her boys. For a lot of characters, this could easily be a breaking point, but this shot affirms Dana Delorenzo as Kelly among some of the most powerful and able Final Girls on the rise.


S2E1: “Home”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
27:31
This shot is very telling of Ruby’s betrayal to evil. As her children surround and attack her, she is obscured by darkness and where she lies in terror a bright light emanates from behind her illuminating the scene as if to show her becoming a hero against evil.


S2E2: “The Morgue”
Directed By Tony Tilse
16:41
When this episode aired it was one of the most talked about and disgustingly depraved things to see. A simple Camera rig in front of Ash as he struggles to get out of a corpse, pubic hairs and dick swinging in his face. If Dead Alive wanted to take Evil Dead’s title of biggest gross-out scenes, then “Ash Vs Evil Dead” took the title back with excrement and body fluids all over our hero.


S2E3: “Last Call”
Directed By Tony Tilse
23:08
There are a ton of great shots of the evil Delta but perhaps the best one is this single frame of Lacey telling her boyfriend she loves him as he is splattered across the windshield. Blood and glass between them as they try for one last kiss against the fire and demonic lighting coming from the Delta and then splat! It’s a small touching moment that makes Lacey’s character a bit more sympathetic as the show goes on. As for her boyfriend? Well, I told you there would be plenty of Shemps to kill off.


S2E4: “DUI”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
1:45
After splattering Ash’s dad across the street, The Delta pulls up with a camera spin into the grill revealing an eye stuck in it. Ash’s one true love, his car, that’s survived everything has turned against him and killed his father just as they had reconnected. A perfect role reversal as Brock William’s severed eye is now staring down Ash through the grill of the car. No longer a window into Brock’s soul, but a sick vision of Ash’s love turned enemy.


S2E5: “Confinement”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
17:46
Flashing between light and darkness as the skin is ripped and blood is splattered gives us a horrifying look for the first time at the main antagonist of the season. Baal emerges from the flesh of humanity showing how we are all merely tools for his psychological deceptions.


S2E6: “Trapped Inside”
Directed By Mark Beesley
11:37
The moon reflects an eerie light upon Cheryl’s picture as it begins to bleed like the statue of Mary. The innocence of Ash’s sister was never saved and her soul weeps as the flesh is resurrected for evil’s bidding.


S2E7: “Delusion”
Directed By Mark Beesley
23:59
This entire episode is about breaking down Ash’s spirit and character, making him think he’s truly insane. As he’s at the breaking point he sees his friends and his love for them saves him. It’s a really simple shot that’s amplified by Bruce’s performance, but that disturbed look against the shadowy bars across his face in the dreary room give him his eureka moment where he comes down from his insanity and understands what he has to do to win.


S2E8: “Ashy Slashy”
Directed By Tony Tilse
14:13
Throughout the season the town builds up a boogeyman mythos in Ashy Slashy that we know as an audience member isn’t true but this shot brings Ashy Slashy to life. That boogeyman becomes real as the straight jacket becomes Ashy Slashy’s costume and the fire created by the chainsaw shows a side of Ash we’ve never seen. In this shot, we are convinced he had become a mindless killer.


S2E9: “Home Again”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:51
We’ve only ever heard his voice and seen his ghost save for a few shots of him discovering the Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2. Professor Knowby watches his student, Tanya, bleed out on the floor. She looks up at her mentor with horror as light swings back and forth casting shadows on his face. He is almost serial killer in nature and the shot reflects how his quest for knowledge outweighs his humanity. We see Professor Knowby and his daughter Ruby are not too dissimilar.


S2E10: “Second Coming”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
26:12
The finale brings Ash back to the cabin having to completely confront his past to change the future. With Pablo dead, because of Ash’s own follies, it is in the ashes of Ash’s dark past that Pablo is reborn, no longer tormented by the Necronomicon he takes his first breath as a new human. The evil within him gone and his life ready to begin anew.


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McKenna Grace Snags Lead in Rob Lowe’s Remake of The Bad Seed

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Okay so, evidently Rob Lowe is remaking The Bad Seed. Meh, I’m interested. But wait, evidently it will be a Lifetime original film. Urgh, interest is waning.

All jokes aside, I’m intrigued by this remake. Not only is it set to star Rob Lowe, but the man will be directing and executive producing as well.

Another interesting variation is that this film will follow Lowe’s father figure dealing with the evil child, instead of the original film’s mother character played by Nancy Kelly.

And on top of that, today we have news via Deadline that McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Awakening) has been cast as the titular bad seed, Emma, and Patty McCormack – who played the evil little girl in the original, and received an Oscar nomination for performance – will co-star as the psychiatrist who treats Emma.

Grace will next be seen in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House from director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Gerald’s Game).

The Lifetime remake is directed and executive produced by Rob Lowe from a script by Barbara Marshall. Lowe as executive produces with Mark Wolper and Elizabeth Stephen and stars alongside Patty McCormack and McKenna Grace.

Synopsis:

Lowe plays a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when there is a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved daughter. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.

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